UK PM Faces Criticism for Comparing Ukraine with Brexit

    Image copyright: Peter Cziborra/Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

    The Facts

    • Boris Johnson has been criticised for his comparisons between the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the 2016 Brexit vote, citing the referendum as evidence the UK, like Ukraine, chooses freedom "every time".

    • He made the comments in the Conservative Spring Conference and has received backlash, including from members of his own party, such as senior backbencher Tobias Ellwood.

    The Spin

    Left narrative

    European leaders are right to be outraged. Johnson's eurosceptic comments not only outline why he is a liability as PM but, more seriously, his insensitivity towards the harrowing experiences of Ukrainian citizens. Europe is key to international cooperation and the protection of human rights.

    Cynical narrative

    Johnson's comments were a shamefully absurd shot at the EU. But left-wing politicians are guilty of exactly the same cheap pandering. Alastair Campbell, Lord Heseltine and Layla Moran are amongst public figures to have utlized Russian politics and the situation in Ukraine to illustrate their staunch support for the EU. There is no one group with a monopoly on playing politics with human suffering.

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